A Plea for Mercy
1Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;
behold, and see our disgrace!
2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our homes to aliens.
3We have become orphans, fatherless;
our mothers are like widows.
4We must pay for the water we drink,
the wood we get must be bought.
5With a yokea on our necks we are hard driven;
we are weary, we are given no rest.
6We have given the hand to Egypt,
and to Assyria, to get bread enough.
7Our fathers sinned, and are no more;
and we bear their iniquities.
8Slaves rule over us;
there is none to deliver us from their hand.
9We get our bread at the peril of our lives,
because of the sword in the wilderness.
10Our skin is hot as an oven
with the burning heat of famine.
11Women are ravished in Zion,
virgins in the towns of Judah.
12Princes are hung up by their hands;
no respect is shown to the elders.
13Young men are compelled to grind at the mill;
and boys stagger under loads of wood.
14The old men have quit the city gate,
the young men their music.
15The joy of our hearts has ceased;
our dancing has been turned to mourning.
16The crown has fallen from our head;
woe to us, for we have sinned!
17For this our heart has become sick,
for these things our eyes have grown dim,
18for Mount Zion which lies desolate;
jackals prowl over it.
19But thou, O Lord, dost reign for ever;
thy throne endures to all generations.
20Why dost thou forget us for ever,
why dost thou so long forsake us?
21Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored!
Renew our days as of old!
22Or hast thou utterly rejected us?
Art thou exceedingly angry with us?